Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Due to the current global pandemic, Rail Europe is taking all precautionary measures to keep our employees and communities safe. Electronic passes (Swiss Travel Pass, Britrail England and Renfe) are still available for purchase. We have temporarily suspended the sale, printing and shipping of all paper travel documents (including EURAIL).
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 33 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Will I be sharing my sleeping compartment with strangers?
A. If you book a reservation for a bed in a compartment that can accommodate more people than are in your traveling party, yes, additional people may be in the compartment. It’s also important to note that couchette accommodations are usually not gender specific.
Q. Why doesn’t my train ticket show my date or time of travel?
A. If your train ticket does not show a date or time of travel, most likely you have a point to point train ticket without a reservation. You can use your ticket on any train that doesn’t require a reservation, operating between the cities listed on your train ticket, and on any date within the validity period printed on the ticket.
Q. How do I use a Rail Europe Gift Card?
A. Simply use the Gift Card code that was provided by Rail Europe on your certificate. Enter this code on the delivery page during checkout. Note: the full dollar value of the Gift Card doesn’t need to be used all at once; you will be sent a new Gift Card code for any remaining balance.
Q. What should I do if the train is late?
A. It depends if you’re traveling with train tickets that include a reservation or with open tickets. If your train ticket includes a reservation, then it’s only valid for travel on the train for which it was issued. If the train is late, you’ll need to wait until it arrives.
If you’re traveling with open tickets you can decide to take another train, as long is it doesn’t require a reservation and travels the same route as the one for which your open ticket was issued.
Q. What do I need to show to the conductor when traveling by train with a rail pass?
A. While traveling with a rail pass, you will need to show the conductor your pass. Be sure your pass is activated prior to boarding the train. For trains that require reservations, be sure to have your valid reservations ready to show the conductor, as well. Lastly, it is not uncommon for a conductor to request to see your passport, best to keep it handy.
Q. How can I book an itinerary with multiple cities?
A. Our website makes booking multi-city journeys very easy!
Simply enter the cities you plan to depart from, arrive to, and your travel dates. Our system will then search the database to provide the best matching schedules.
Q. Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
A. This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.
Q. What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?
A. A rail pass and a train ticket are two completely different types of travel documents.
A train ticket is valid for a single journey between two cities. Many tickets also include a reservation, which mean that they are valid only for a specific train, on a specific date and at a given time. To learn more about tickets, read our article: tickets explained.
A rail pass, on the other hand, is good for travel in an entire geographical area (1 country, 2 countries or more). With it you can take as many train trips as you want within that geographical area, for as many travel days as you purchased, within a set period of time (the pass validity period).
Q. My promo code is not working. What should I do?
A. If for any reason you experience an issue with your promo code, please verify that all criteria are met for the code to be valid (dates, booking minimum, products, etc.). If all of this seems correct, make sure you’re using the correct code. If you received your code in an email, sometimes it’s best to copy and paste the code to avoid typographical errors.
If you continue to have trouble, get in touch with us using our Contact Us page.
Q. Will a National Rail Strike affect my train travel?
A. A national strike impacting rail services could affect train travel for locals and visitors alike. Typically, during a rail strike there will be a reduced number of trains operating which could lead to more passengers on board trains that are running, changes in schedules, or even alternate modes of transportation (such as buses) to transport passengers to their destinations.
In the event of a strike, Rail Europe will provide as much information as possible to assist those who may be impacted. If a strike has been announced, you can always submit inquiries to Rail Europe through the Contact Us page or, if you’re already in Europe during a strike, go directly to a railway station and ask the local railway official for assistance.